Andreessen Horowitz Announces Fund to Set Black Entrepreneurs Up for Success
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Andreessen Horowitz Announces Fund to Set Black Entrepreneurs Up for Success

The future of business has been an ongoing conversation across industries for the last few months as we imagine how businesses will operate post-COVID-19.

To support those entrepreneurs who may lack access to resources needed to fund their businesses, venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz has announced a fund dedicated to supporting “entrepreneurs who have the talent, drive, and ideas to build great businesses,” as reported via their website.

In tune with the protests and outrage that has stirred in the wake of deadly police brutality in America, Andreessen Horowitz wished to launch an initiative to bring more visibility and resources to Black entrepreneurs who are often glossed over.

“It’s hard enough as it is for people who DO have [education, mobility, network, social proof, mentors, and business knowledge] to get funded, so how are those who have the talent — but not the network and the know-how — going to be seen?,” they asked in their statement.

“Our firm culture is based on the idea that words by themselves are empty. A culture is not a set of beliefs. It’s a set of actions.”

The Talent x Opportunity Fund (TxO) — a program that’s been in development for the last six months — is designed to set Black entrepreneurs who have not previously had access to the fast track in business up for success.

Led by partner Nait Jones, TxO is looking to fund a small group of entrepreneurs from underserved communities within their first year, and expand over time.

Andreessen Horowitz outlined details of the fund stating it would operate as follows:

      • “We will invest in exchange for equity in the business, but 100% of the investment returns will remain in the fund to finance future entrepreneurs — so every successful entrepreneur will automatically pay it forward to the next, as all profits get recycled into future generations of entrepreneurs.

      • Each cohort will join a 10-month training program where we will provide mentorship and instruction (online) from experienced operators in our networks.

      • The fund begins with $2.2M in donations from the partners of Andreessen Horowitz.

      • The Fund is a Donor Advisory Fund managed by Tides which provides tax benefits for the donor — we welcome donations from others to help us in this effort (link below).

      • Ben and Felicia Horowitz will match up to an additional $5,000,000 total in any other donations.”

Andreessen Horowitz is set on being a viable resource for emerging business leaders to lean on during this time, performing in their areas of expertise to directly contribute to the social cause.

“We’re venture capitalists, not activists,” they stated. “We support the amazing work that people are doing to fix policing specifically, the criminal justice system more generally, and many other efforts, but our direct contribution will be doing what we do best: To help entrepreneurs be better entrepreneurs, so they can build great businesses that in turn create jobs and value for others.”

“This fund and program aims to fill a gap between the cultural leaders who have made it, and those who haven’t had a chance to make it. Entrepreneurship hasn’t been accessible to everyone, but the fact remains that being an entrepreneur is one of the most powerful ways to own your own future, to increase mobility across time and place, to invent new ways of doing things, and to forge a new system.”